The Bolivian Nuclear Energy Agency (ABEN) and JSC "State Specialized Design Institute" (part of ROSATOM) signed a contract for Nuclear Research and Technology Center (NRTC) construction in El Alto, Bolivia on September 19 in Vienna.
The contract was signed by Vyacheslav Galushkov, Director General of JSC "State Specialized Design Institute", and Hortensia Jiménez Rivera, General Executive Director of the Bolivian Nuclear Energy Agency. The ceremony took place in the presence of the Director General of ROSATOM Alexey Likhachev and Vice-Minister of Energy of the Plurinational State of Bolivia Luis Alberto Echazú.
The NRTC will comprise of a reactor facility on the basis of a water-cooled research reactor with nominal power of up to 200 kW, a multi-purpose experimental gamma-installation, as well as a cyclotron and a radiopharmacology complex, engineering facilities and various laboratories. Investments in the project will amount to more than 300 million US dollars.
The commissioning of the Center’s first facilities is scheduled for 2019. The projected service life of the center is 50 years. After this period, the reactor can be upgraded in order to extend its life.
The Center will allow for wide application of radiation technologies in agriculture, medicine, industry and other important spheres. The construction of the NRTC project is unique for the global nuclear industry. The site chosen by the Bolivian side for the Center in El Alto is at the highest altitude (4100 meters above sea level) of all the sites in the world where a nuclear plant has ever been built.
The ROSATOM integrated offer includes not only the construction of the Center itself, but also scientific and engineering personnel training, nuclear infrastructure development, support in operation and service maintenance throughout the life cycle of the Center, as well as scientific cooperation.
"We offer Bolivia not just the construction of the highest-altitude nuclear science center in the world; we offer our partners cutting-edge technologies. The implementation of this project will allow Bolivia to become a regional leader in nuclear research. Based on the results of the previously concluded contract for preliminary engineering studies, we have confirmed the suitability of the site and shortly, together with our Bolivian colleagues, we will proceed with practical measures for the construction of the Center,” said Alexey Likhachev.
The company "Rusatom Overseas" conducted negotiations from the Russian side, and representatives of other ROSATOM companies, such as ”Rusatom - International Network”, “Rusatom Service”, “NIKIET”, “Rusatom Healthcare” and others also actively participated in the project. A lot of work has been done in the last year and a half. The signing of the contract significantly strengthens the presence of Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation on the international market of non-energy products and technologies, which today is growing rapidly.
For more than 50 years research reactors have been contributing to the development of scientific innovation and education in more than 50 countries around the globe. At the moment, there are 245 operating research reactors in the world, and 58 of them are in Russia. Rosatom has built more than 120 research reactors in Russia and abroad.